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Barcelona fire director of football Eric Abidal

Eric Abidal - Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 14: Sports Director of FC Barcelona Eric Abidal looks on during the New FC Barcelona head coach Quique Setien unveiling at Camp Nou on January 14, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Eric Abidal - Barcelona technical director fired: Barca’s backroom clear-out continued on Tuesday, as the club announced Abidal is the latest member of the technical staff to be let go following the embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

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Manager Quique Setien didn’t survive the short walk to the team bus before he was (initially reported to have been) relieved of his duties after the game. It was Abidal who informed Setien he had been fired.

Now it’s Abidal, who took over as director of football in the summer of 2018, who gets the boot mere hours later.

Little went right for Abidal during his tenure, as he had previously become entangled in a public war of words with club captain Lionel Messi after he criticized the club’s players for “not doing much work.” Messi, who on Sunday reportedly informed Barca of his desire to leave this summer, responded at the time by calling on Abidal, his former teammate, to “name names.”

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It is quite clear that the thinking behind Abidal’s removal was twofold: on the performance-related side, Barca’s signings over the last two years have been massively expensive and hugely disappointing; on the Messi-related side of things, Barca’s chances of retaining the undisputed greatest player of all time could be boosted, even just 2 percent, by his departure.

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